According to the deputy mayor, “every day, it becomes more and more difficult to live in Bachmouth”, a city under siege by Russian forces.

Residents of the besieged city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine live in dire conditions as civilians are killed and wounded every day, the deputy mayor said tonight as fighting between Russian troops and Ukrainian forces erupted.

Pakmut has been a key target for the Russian military in its slow advance on Donetsk region, one of the territories the Kremlin claims to have annexed after what Kiev and the West consider a sham referendum in September. According to the Ukrainian military, heavy fighting took place in the area.

Deputy Mayor Oleksandr Marchenko told Reuters that Russian troops “attempted to attack the city from various directions”. “Every day it becomes more and more difficult to live in this city”, Oleksandr Marchenko said from an empty government building, as mortar fire echoed nearby. According to him, more than 120 civilians have been killed in Baghmouth since the February 24 Russian invasion.

“In some districts, we don’t know the exact number of those killed because there is intense fighting going on or installations are temporarily occupied.” By Russian forces, he added. Ukrainian troops “Hold the Front Line Firmly”, Oleksandr Marchenko describes the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the city, which has dwindled from a population of around 80,000 before the war to just 12,000 today. The city has been without electricity, gas and drinking water for the past two months.

Despite calls to evacuate, residents go out to shop, collect humanitarian aid or fetch water, Oleksandr Marchenko said, adding that winter will be particularly difficult for the elderly and disabled. “We hold our base and hope that the Ukrainian armed forces can push the enemy further from the city”He declared.

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